SANDPOINT — Chris Nicolls and Isaiah Grey grew up in North Idaho, have known each other since their teens, and have worked on a few projects together in the past. Ultimately, the partnership stuck and now they’ve joined forces to start a new business, Devtree Academy, in Sandpoint.
Devtree Academy is a coding bootcamp, using immersive methods of teaching software coding and engineering.
After growing up in the area, both men did what many young people do and left to get an education and experience other places, before returning home. Nicolls has worked for a local insurance company for six years and serves as the missions pastor at the Sandpoint Assembly of God Church. He attended college in California, England and Spain. Grey worked in Texas and in the San Francisco Bay area for several years as a software engineer where after working in the field himself, he gained experience teaching coding for two years.
Coding bootcamps are immersive training programs that help students from all backgrounds transition into a tech career. Since they started in 2012, these private education courses have been training software engineers with strong job placement and salary outcomes. Devtree Academy is hosting its first Free Coding Workshop this weekend and there is plenty of interest.
“We are excited to start a school that can provide good paying permanent career minded jobs,” said Nicolls.
“Attainable,” Grey adds, using the word to describe the ability to learn the skills necessary to start a career as a software coding engineer — in just 12 weeks.
There is often the perception that being a mathematical progidy is a prerequisite to any career in programming. Wrong, the pair said. “If you’re able to get through eighth grade math, you can learn this.” It may seem like a stretch for some of us who have trouble simply navigating a social media site or completing an online survey but according to Grey, it’s about learning the process of problem solving in the field. Learning how to first define a problem, then establish an effective way to approach the problem.
Devtree Academy provides a structured environment where students will be stretched and pushed to go beyond what they could do on their own. Small class sizes are a plus with a cap of 10 students per session.
The pair said their mission at Devtree Academy is to empower students to build a purposeful career in technology, through an immersive learning experience. They offer mentorship and hands-on learning, which provide their students with the tools and resources needed to succeed in the industry.
Grey talks of several examples of people he’s known who didn’t consider they might be capable of acheiving a career in software coding. One, a local man who was content in his fast food job is one example. “He became committed to the program, worked very hard — learned the languages and processes, built a portfolio, and is now working in the tech field — without a college degree or big student loans.”
Grey and Nicolls encourage all interested to make an appointment to come by Devtree Academy and see if a career in coding might work for them.
Information: Devtree Academy — online, Devtree.io; Facebook, Devtree Academ; or by phone, 208-718-CODE (2633)